No increased risk of cancer for people with shingles

September 17, 2012

Herpes zoster, or shingles, does not increase the risk of cancer in the general population, according to a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Although herpes zoster is more common in patients with cancer than in those without, it is unknown whether the risk of cancer is increased for people with herpes zoster. Several studies have indicated an association although most were conducted in western countries.

A large study of 35 871 patients in Taiwan with newly diagnosed herpes zoster found no increased risk of cancer in patients with herpes zoster.

"We found no overall increased risk of cancer among patients with herpes zoster compared with the general population, regardless of sex, age or years of follow-up," writes Dr. Yi-Tsung Lin, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, with coauthors.

The study included data on other illnesses in patients with herpes zoster, such as diabetes, chronic , autoimmune disease and heart disease. Most previous studies did not adjust for comorbidity.

"These findings suggest that the extensive investigations for occult cancer at the time of diagnosis of herpes zoster or enhanced surveillance for cancer after such a diagnosis is unnecessary," conclude the authors.

Explore further: Study finds shingles may be related to elevated risk of multiple sclerosis

More information: www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.120518

Related Stories

Study finds shingles may be related to elevated risk of multiple sclerosis

June 8, 2011
Taiwanese investigators have found that there can be a significantly higher risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) occurring in the year following a shingles, or herpes zoster, attack. The findings, which support a long-held view ...

Recommended for you

CAR-T immunotherapy may help blood cancer patients who don't respond to standard treatments

October 20, 2017
Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is one of the first centers nationwide to offer a new immunotherapy that targets certain blood cancers. Newly approved ...

Researchers pinpoint causes for spike in breast cancer genetic testing

October 20, 2017
A sharp rise in the number of women seeking BRCA genetic testing to evaluate their risk of developing breast cancer was driven by multiple factors, including celebrity endorsement, according to researchers at the University ...

Study shows how nerves drive prostate cancer

October 19, 2017
In a study in today's issue of Science, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, part of Montefiore Medicine, report that certain nerves sustain prostate cancer growth by triggering a switch that causes tumor vessels ...

Gene circuit switches on inside cancer cells, triggers immune attack

October 19, 2017
Researchers at MIT have developed a synthetic gene circuit that triggers the body's immune system to attack cancers when it detects signs of the disease.

One to 10 mutations are needed to drive cancer, scientists find

October 19, 2017
For the first time, scientists have provided unbiased estimates of the number of mutations needed for cancers to develop, in a study of more than 7,500 tumours across 29 cancer types. Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger ...

New study reveals breast cancer cells recycle their own ammonia waste as fuel

October 19, 2017
Breast cancer cells recycle ammonia, a waste byproduct of cell metabolism, and use it as a source of nitrogen to fuel tumor growth, report scientists from Harvard Medical School in the journal Science.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.